Saturday, 2 July 2016

Haulidays - Beauty Loot from Italy (+Instagram giveaway)

If you've been keeping up to date with me on Instagram or Twitter, you might have noticed that I spent the last week soaking up the sun in Italy with a city break in Milan and then a weeklong road trip around Lake Como. Long time readers of this blog will know by now that a holiday for me means makeup shopping and I of course took the liberty of indulging in some Italian makeup shopping (#wheninitaly). My main haunts were Kiko and Sephora but I also found a giant NYX standalone store with every NYX product known to mankind under one roof and I found a Wycon store also so took my maiden voyage in there. Milan is a makeup shopping hotspot for sure and home to many makeup brands that we know and love. Keep your eyes peeled for details of a little giveaway at the end of this post.


Kiko

A makeup lover simply cannot go all the way to Milano and not visit the flagship Kiko Milano store. I've long time loved Kiko and have visited stores and bought online from them before - nothing however beats swatching colours in store. I happened to come across four Kiko stores over the weekend we spent in Milan so you don't have to go very far to find one - the one I was looking forward to the most however was the store on Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle. I also found a Kiko store in the city of Como and there was one at Bergamo Airport also. 

I've tried lots of different bits from Kiko over the years so I had a clear idea of what I wanted to pick up - mostly their lip products which are amazing across the board. I picked up a variety of lippies - three from the limited edition Mirage collection, four of the Velvet Passion lipsticks (which have a distinct Charlotte Tilbury look to them doncha think?), some Gossamer Emotion lippies and a variety of other lippies. Aside from the lipsticks, I was dying to try the lip liners because Kiko lipliners rival all others in my opinion and I don't say that lightly. I got a handful of the Creamy Colour Comfort Lip Liners (these are INCREDIBLE) and a few of the Everlasting Colour Lip Liners.






I picked up a variety of eye products also - two Long Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks (I already have about 10 of these and I think they are BRILL),  a Cream Crush cream eyeshadow, three new water eyeshadows, an Automatic Precision Eyeliner,  some High Pigment Wet and Dry Eyeshadows and a Luxurious Lashes waterproof mascara.


In terms of face products, I picked up a Shade Fusion Blush in 05, a Blending Wave Multicolour Blush in 01, a Desert Dunes Trio Baked Blush in 03 'Impulsive Mauve', a Flawless Fusion Bronzer Powder in 06 and a Radiant Fusion Baked Powder in 01.


I got a backup of one of my fave Kiko products - the Universal Fit Foundation (though I was disappointed that they did not have a lighter shades as the lightest shade 'Cool Rose' is a smidgin too dark for my liking) and a Skin Evolution Concealer in the lightest shade 01.


Lastly but not leastly, I picked up a few nail polishes. I had not seen or heard of the Power Pro Nail Lacquer so I picked up a few shades to try out at my leisure and 2 shades of the original Nail Lacquer.

NYX


Just off Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle, there was a huge NYX store so I popped in for a browse and ended up coming out with a huge bag. Again the lip products were my weakness - I love NYX lip products so I picked up a variety to try out in anticipation of the new Boots display in Liffey Valley. 


I was completely overwhelmed by the variety of face products available in the NYX store that all I ended up getting was a Mineral Foundation Stick and a Gotcha Covered Concealer.


In terms of eye products, I picked up the Micro Brow Pencil which is a much celebrated dupe of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz by all accounts, a Baked Shadow, 3 Hot Singles single eyeshadows, an empty eyeshadow palette with four pans, a HD Eyeshadow Base and a gorgeous pigment. I found a Ombre Blush in 'Mauve Me' that I just couldn't leave behind.


Obviously it is absolutely impossible for me to look at NYX products without picking up some lip products so I got a cross section of different products to try out - all in the name of research of course for when the new Liffey Valley NYX stand opens up. I got another Liquid Suede in the shade 'Tea and Cookies', a repurchase of one of my long time favourite lipglosses, the Mega Shine Lip Gloss in 'Beige' (which incidentally is not beige at all but actually pink), an Intense Butter Gloss in 'Toasted Marshmallow', a Soft Matte Lip Cream in the shade 'Istanbul', a Plush Gel Lipstick in 'Dime Piece', a Butter Gloss in 'Cotton Candy' and a Matte Lipstick in 'Up the Bass'. I also got a few Retractable Lip Liners in 'Nectar' and 'Nude Pink' and a (brace yourself) Slide On, Glide On, Stay On & Definitely a Turn On Waterproof, Extreme Color Lip Liner (NYX that is the most ridiculously convoluted name for a lip product ever) in 'Bedrose'. 

Sephora


Even though European Sephora stores absolutely pale in comparison to their American counterparts, I still made a point of visiting and I picked up some Sephora own brand and Marc Jacobs and Makeup Forever goodies. From Sephora, I picked up their Wonderful Cushion Cream Cushion Foundation in the shade 'Cream', a Colorful single eyeshadow in 'Scented Candle', two Cream Lip Stains in 05 and 06.


I also made a beeline for the Marc Jacobs display to get some more goodies because it's one of the only brands available in European Sephoras that is not easily available here. Given my love for the Re(marc)able foundations, I took the opportunity to pick up a Re(Marc)able Full Cover Concealer in the shade '01 Awake'. I also got a Genius Gel Super Charged Foundation in the shade 14 Ivory Medium, the Glow Stick in 'Spotlight', a Shameless Bold Blush in '204 Obsessed', a Le Marc Lipcreme in '228 Infamous' and a New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in 'Understudy'.


Even though we do have a Make Up For Ever standalone store in Dublin, I find the stock levels are so dismal permanently that it's just not worth wasting my time even checking with them anymore. Whilst browsing around Sephora, I picked up a back up of one of my all time favourite mascaras, the Smoky Lash Mascara, and their Ultra HD Invisible Cover Concealer in 'Y21'.


Wycon


I was delighted to find a WYCON store in Milan but it was actually one of the most stressful makeup shopping experiences of my life with at least half a dozen shop assistants following you around desperately trying to make the hard sell - I almost surrendered my basket on several occasions and I wouldn't go back there to be quite honest. That said, I did manage to pick up a few bits - a Matt Sublime Lipstick in '604' and a Longlasting Liquid Lipstick in '35', a single Eyeshadow in '20', a Lasting Color Stick Eyeshadow in '04 Tiger Eye', three lipliners in '01 Rosa', '03 Rosa Antico' and '16 Rosa Scuro', a Longlasting Lip Liner in '10 Antique Rose' and an Automatic Lip Liner in '105 Petal'. I also picked up two nail lacquers - Sugar Effect Nail Lacquer in '801' and a Heart of Beauty Nail Lacquer in '02 Serenity Glitter'.

The Loop 


Lastly but not leastly, I did make a quick pitstop at the Loop Duty Free in Dublin Airport to pick up a few bits that I had earmarked before I left at all. I got the Faro Brush set on Sinead from the Beautiful Truth's recommendation - these are €43.95 at the airport. I also got a three pack of my HG stick lip balm, the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Lip Protectant Stick, which was a bargain price of €36.80 for three full sized units as opposed to €23 for one unit from Boots. Lastly but not leastly, I picked up the Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt fragrance because I really wanted a summery, fresh scent that would remind me of that holiday forevermore (it's become a tradition of mine to pick up a perfume at the airport, use that exclusively on holidays, and then everytime I smell that smell when I am back from holidays, I'm transported back to that holiday joy). 


So, as I mentioned at the outset, Milan is definitely a makeup lover's heaven as there are several stores over there and several more brands that I did not pick up on this occasion that are manufactured in the area - Pupa Milano, Collistar etc. If you try no other brands mentioned in this post, then please take my word for it and try to get your hands on some Kiko goodies because I have been consistently impressed with that brand, especially the lip and eye products. With that in mind, I picked up a small handful of my favourite Kiko products and I will be hosting a giveaway on my Facebook/ Instagram so take a look at those and throw your name in the hat if you are interested. I'm officially on a 'No Buy July' now because I am heading to New York again in November for Thanksgiving and I need to start saving my sheckles again!

I may be sad and depressed that my summer holidays are all over but at least I have lots of lovely new makeup to play with :) 






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